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The Dansville Online
  • Spotlight on Wayland Rotary

  • In this day and age, when someone speaks of a service club, such as Rotary, they may receive a blank stare. What is a Rotary and what do they do?


    Wayland?Rotary’s outgoing and incoming presidents talked recently with the Express about their club.

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  • In this day and age, when someone speaks of a service club, such as Rotary, they may receive a blank stare. What is a Rotary and what do they do?
    Wayland?Rotary’s outgoing and incoming presidents talked recently with the Express about their club.
    Wayland Rotary has about 20 members who meet Tuesday nights at 6:30 p.m. in the banquet room of Debbie’s Cafe. The meetings include conducting regular business, as well as an occaisional guest speaker, and of course, dinner. Outgoing co-president (along with Nancy Levesque) Tom Didas said the group isn’t a “dinner club,” but is a non-profit organization that focuses its efforts on serving people in the Wayland area. Donations also go to Rotary International efforts such as eradicating polio in third-world countries.
    In all, Didas said the club donates roughly $12,000 per year to various organizations.       
    Upcoming local projects the club will be sponoring include the annual Wayland-Cohocton Grad Bash; three monetary scholarships to Way-Co graduates; an event yet to be determined at the Wayland Potato Festival; and donations to the Genesee Valley Rotary camp in Pike.
    To help raise money for these donations, the club conducts annual fundraisers such as a golf tournament and a food booth at the Cohocton?Fall Foliage Festival.
    Didas, who has been a Rotarian for more than 30 years, said he enjoys being part of an organization that gives back to the local and worldwide communities, and the camaraderie that goes along with it.
    “We’ve been seeing a lot more requests coming in from different organizations,” he also said. “And unless we do more, as far as fundraisers, we’re going to be limited on what we can do.”
    Jean McMillan, upcoming president, said her goal for this year is to gain 10 new members into the club. “Many hands make light work,”?she said.
    McMillan also said that one of the false perceptions of Rotary is that someone has to have some wealth. But Rotary is for anyone who wishes to be active in their community.
    Their members not only come from Wayland, but also from Springwater, Dansville and Avoca.
    Didas said there’s been a gradual decrease in membership over his 30 years with the club, but he and McMillan said several have joined in the past three years.
    “We seem to average about four new members each year,”?she said.
    Wayland Rotary also works cohesively with other local organizations on various projects.
    Levesque and Didas will be turning over the reigns of Rotary president to McMillan on July 1. If interested in joining or for more information, Didas can be contacted at 728-5893; McMillan can be reached at 728-9540.
    In addition to Wayland, Dansville and Nunda also have active Rotary clubs.
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